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By May 16, 2023No Comments

Where is everybody that wants to work/needs a job?!

Why can’t we find employees?! Since the pandemic, so many businesses cannot seem to get their workforce back.  And when I say “workforce,” I mean all levels and areas of ALL industries, laborers and professionals alike:  from big corporations, restaurants, retailers, graphic designers, hospitals, banks, grocery stores, government offices. I mean, it seems like everyone is still struggling to have a complete team.  And yet, business is thriving despite the murmurs of a recession.  Real estate is still selling within days. Restaurants turn you away and you cannot get an appointment with a dog groomer for months!  Oh…. Maybe if they had enough people working, it wouldn’t be like that?!

But where is everyone?  I do not think everyone had a creative side gig to fall back on and then make their full time profession!  And it does not sound like people are collecting unemployment either.  Nor is there the same concern of not being out in public due to the fear of getting Covid.  People are out and about and not complaining about being out of work!  Where are they? And how are they paying their bills?

I have a theory…. It is a work ethic problem.

I dove down into American history and it seems that the country went from being a hard working, hard earning, roll-up-your sleeves (or force  someone else to) kind of culture to being an entitled, experiencing the world from a device, and putting the least amount of physical presence and effort as possible kind of culture.  Am I being harsh?

Think about the people of the Great Depression era (1920s/30s).  How hard did they have it?!  Work was as scarce as food.  You only ate if you worked!  This time period created a work ethic like no other!   Of course, immigration culture- throughout the ages- is hard working, PERIOD, (and still is). Whether they came from Europe in the 1500s, Africa in 1800s, Mexico in the 1900s, or Western Europe during WWII- EVERYONE worked hard it seemed!  The threat of starvation was real.  The desire to create a better life was the driving force.

Every generation wants their kids to do better and struggle less than they had to.  But was that, is that, a good thing? I do not want to say we should all have a mindset of scarcity and constantly be hoarding away provisions just in case something bad happens. I just wonder what kind of service are we doing in making life easier for the next generation?

I believe in exploration, discovery, challenging the paradigm, pushing the boundaries of what “society” expects of us.  But how does work factor in there?  I understand the concept of finding work that you LOVE.  I LOVE what I do. Do you? Are people simply finding the thing that they love to do and they are able to monetize it?  Or are we too many people that need services and yet a workforce that cannot provide it?  Where is the imbalance?

I worry- yes, I literally worry- what will become of the current generation?  The cell phone barely allows me to focus on work and I was not even raised with an IPhone in my hand! I think I just coined a new expression?  Sounds similar to being raised with a silver spoon in your mouth! I knooooow!  I sound conservative! But really, think about your own capacity to focus for more than an hour at a time without looking at your phone. How does that work for you?  Now imagine, for the youth?  It IS a real problem.

Don’t get me wrong, I think the Gen Z and Generation Alpha (did you even know that’s the name of our youngest generation born after 2010?!) are brilliant!  They have so much knowledge they can access at the tips of their fingers! They feel less forced to hide who they really are because they have so much more freedom to be their authentic selves.  They understand so much more about the world at large. They don’t have to learn it with years of experience. They know more about psychology, politics, the environment, and so much more. And imagine how much more music they listen to – not the same record, tape cassette, or record that we listened to over and over! But I do have hope that these generations will solidify their work ethic.  I simply think that joy seems to have to be part of the equation in a way that it did not for past generations.  And that… I think, is a beautiful thing.

In the meantime, we are hiring at Goler.  We love our current team, we just need a couple of new players. It is fun. I promise!